“Even the poorest cottage welcomed the festive season with green decorations of bay and holly — the cheerful fire glanced its rays through the lattice, inviting the passenger to raise the latch, and join the gossip knot huddled around the hearth, beguiling the long evening with legendary jokes and oft-told Christmas tales.” So wrote Washington Irving back in the introduction to a five-chapter 1886 holiday memoir as warm as a jolly hearth hung with bulging stockings and anticipatory cheer. Irving’s nostalgic words... More >>>